Optical Sciences

Biomolecules and nanostructures

The Optical Sciences group studies the interaction of light and matter. Our current focus is on detection and sensing/imaging with an emphasis on the development of integrated photonics. We are part of Twente University's Department of Science and Technology and member of the MESA+ institute.


A phased antenna array for surface plasmons

(full pdf)

Dirk Jan W. Dikken, Jeroen P. Korterik, Frans B. Segerink, Jennifer L. Herek and Jord C. Prangsma
Nature Scientific Reports
vol 6 p. 25037, april 7 2016

Surface plasmon polaritons are electromagnetic waves that propagate tightly bound to metal surfaces.
The concentration of the electromagnetic field at the surface as well as the short wavelength of surface plasmons enable sensitive detection methods and miniaturization of optics. We present an optical frequency plasmonic analog to the phased antenna array as it is well known in radar technology and radio astronomy. Individual holes in a thick gold film act as dipolar emitters of surface plasmon polaritons whose phase is controlled individually using a digital spatial light modulator. We show experimentally, using a phase sensitive near-field microscope, that this optical system allows accurate directional emission of surface waves. This compact and flexible method allows for dynamically shaping the propagation of plasmons and holds promise for nanophotonic applications employing propagating surface plasmons.
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